7 June 2018 | emtandberg
ROOTS (2016) REVIEW
Written By Edward Tandberg, 16 years old
Being a 16 year old secondary school student, I was not expecting much from Roots. To me it seemed like this was going to be yet another generic film about slaves being mistreated. If you have watched the film, you know that this is not the case.
The beginning of the story takes place in Africa, in a village next to the Bolongo. It is in this first act that we are introduced to Kunta Kinte (Malachi Kirby), the protagonist of the film. Kirby's outstanding acting makes the character more realistic, and perfectly captures Kunta's emotions. The focus on the African village of Jaffar and the culture of the Mandinka warriors also give the film a unique touch.
It is in the second act that the film truly takes off however. Without wanting to spoil too much, I can say that Forest Whitaker's performance as Fiddler is superb. The brutality shown in the film is also one of its greatest assets, as it really puts into perspective the brutality of slavery. The ending of the film is quite sad, but I believe that this was a way of showing the reality of the 18th century. There were no fairy tale endings.
In conclusion, Roots was everything I was expecting and more. Though it does not reach the heights of other slavery based movies such as 12 Years a Slave, it comes close. Its realistic perspective is ultimately what won me over, and what stopped the film from falling into the generic mediocrity of many other slave films.